Ordering a bathing suit online is a ridiculous idea. But when the company that makes the running shorts that make me feel hot, not just athletic, had a sale – I took the bait.
It is the time of the year that I have the Great Bikini Debate. Last summer I tried to embrace the stretch marks. I gave it a solid effort. I even tried to tan those mofos. If I am 100% honest – the red bikini took a backseat to the trusty one piece the great majority of the time. And now here I am again, another year older, another year closer to the Year I Should Really Stop Wearing A Two Piece. (I am not sure when that is, exactly, but I am certain it exists.)
Standing in my bathroom in the new two piece I could acknowledge that this summer’s bikini body is slightly more toned than last year’s. I have run my ass off this year and it is starting to show. Deep breath in. Deep breath out. Bend over. Sit down. Eh. It is what it is but it is unlikely that it is gonna get better than it is right now, right? The fit is ok. But the color?
Brown. The brown bikini was the only sale suit in my size. I just don’t know about brown.
I called to Emily. “Come here. What do you think?”
She just stood there with her hand on her tiny little hip. “Hmmm. That’s a tricky question. I’m trying to decide what you want me to say.” Damn kid.
“The truth,” I answer.
“Well, you have really big boobs and that top is really big like a lot of fabric but weirdly it makes your boobs look not as noticeable. And I think it’s ok that your stomach is like, well, you know like that because you had two babies and you’re a great mom and you look pretty.” She paused to take a breath. “Do you like it?”
I love her. I do. I should have been more clear, I suppose. “Do you like this color brown?” Sigh.
If the bikini makes its presence known this summer than the excitement will be two-fold. My stomach and the stretch marks there really get all the press. But it is high time that the wreckage on my hips and lower back get a little face time. The 2014 new ink highlights them nicely. Last summer’s motto seemed to be “if you can’t tone it, tan it.” This summer it is looking like I am embracing the “if you can’t tone it, tattoo it” philosophy. Someday perhaps I will get to that level of peace where I don’t even have this conversation with myself. Maybe next spring when I am trying on bathing suits for my 39th summer I will only ask myself the question that my sweet Emily June asked me – “Do I like it?” Maybe. Someday.
Posted in Bad Mood, Nonsense, Pregnancy, Tattoos
Tagged bikini body, Crazy, Dear Emily, Emily, Humor, Insecurity, motherhood, mothering, self image, stretch marks, Tattoo
It wouldn’t be easy to choose one word to define myself. I like to think of myself as pretty multi-dimensional. I am a lot of things. Perhaps first and foremost I am your classic over-achieving liberal arts major, jack of all trades and master of none. So, to choose one word, that is almost impossible.
But if I had to pick one – I am a mother.
I am grateful that my journey to motherhood was easy. It was not without tears and pain but I consider myself lucky. I grew two healthy, beautiful little girls. I grew them. Inside of me. And I brought them in to the world. And thus far I have lived to tell the tale.
I am a mother.
And I am beyond proud. And yet I keep this secret underneath my clothes. It’s not really an issue nine months of the year, but the summer comes and I feel it. Shame.
I have two girls. I tell them both that they should be proud just exactly as they are. But I don’t feel that way about myself.
I feel strong. I am stronger than I have been in my lifetime. I feel capable. Even with some sore muscles from overuse I am proud of the work I have done recently. I am becoming an athlete. My clothes feel good. I stand up straight. I am proud of this body that grew these two babies and continues to help me grow every day. But I can’t seem to feel proud of my stretch marks.
Not long after Lucy was born I made peace with them, the tiger stripes I earned in my last pregnancy. But peace making is a far cry from pride.
In the last month I have done this silly little song and dance. Get the girls ready to go to the pool. Put on the two piece. Look in the mirror. Take off the two piece and put the one piece on. Go to the pool. The other day Em walked in my bathroom while I had on a bikini. “Oh, I like that one, Mom. You got that for your honeymoon. ”
That was all she said. She left my bathroom and I stood there, stomach glowing white against the rest of my month long summer tan. I tried to imagine what I would say when I came out in my signature black one-piece and not the red bikini she had just seen me wearing. I came up empty. There really wasn’t any good reason to change. None at all. Except the niggling shame surrounding my smushy stomach and aging stretchmarks. And that just wasn’t a good enough reason.
This week I did something that made me uncomfortable. I wore that damn bikini all week. And I chased my little Lucy back and forth. And I sat in the baby pool. And I ate an ice cream cone. And I dove for plastic rings with the big kids. In my bikini. And you know what? My stretch marks didn’t actually have anything to do with any of it.
I can’t quite say that I am proud of them yet. But I am not ashamed. And that is a step in the right direction.
Day 77: Design your own logo!
I am not certain I could get away with calling it as logo, but have spent a fair amount of time in the last week manipulating an image in an effort to create a cohesive look between various parts of our wedding nonsense. Not too long after we got engaged Mike and I worked up a design for a tattoo to celebrate our engagement. We are both really happy with the way it turned out. I still feel like mine is “new.” It has been cold and given its location it has not really seen much daylight. The actual tattoos might not have seen a lot of daylight, but I have seen an awful lot of the image in the last week.
After a little digital manipulating we turned our tattoos…
into both a design to use as the watermark for our invitations and a design for use on our wedding favors. What the design will be placed on shall remain a secret for now! In an effort not to spoil the surprise, this is all you get for now, the basis of our “Wedding Logo.”
Impropriety: The quality or state of being improper, not in accordance with decorum.
Day 49’s challenge was to make a citizen’s arrest. While it would have been a lot funnier to “arrest” a stranger the opportunity to arrest my mom and step-dad was too great to ignore. MQD and I had plans to get our “wedding tattoo” on Friday evening and my parents were coming in to town, too. We planned to meet at Carrburritos and then stop in to Glenn’s to go over our art work, leaving Emily with my parents for a bit. MQD and I anxiously awaited Paulie finishing up the last-minute tweaks to our artwork while Em took a stroll around Franklin St with my family, stopping at Time After Time to do some shopping.
Our idea to memorialize our eternal wedded bliss on our skin was to combine the Sailor Jerry anchor and the “Stewed Screwed and Tattoed.”
I think we were successful. I couldn’t be any happier with the way they turned out. Not only did I get to share this occasion with my betrothed. But…. as I was laying on my stomach, teeth clenched, tattoo gun buzzing away behind me, making idle chit-chat with the other fellow in the shop getting work done I heard my favorite sound. “Hi, Mom!” And I looked up to see my sweet five-year-old girl. In her Cinderella dress. And four new bracelets. And a new ring. And new pink fuzzy hat. And my mom. And my step-dad. And buzzz….. fuck that hurts.
And I was getting a tattoo. And my daughter was there. Surely worth a citizen’s arrest of my mom and my step-dad, David. Who brings a five-year-old to a tattoo shop?
So, Mom and David, consider yourself arrested. Thanks for hanging out with Ems while we finished up a few wedding details.